Long range: Quality bluefin enter the fray

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BY GUNDY GUNDERSON

SAN DIEGO – After a couple weeks of solid fishing for 40- to 60-pound school bluefin tuna, the long range fleet was delighted at the arrival of the big boys. This week’s fishing saw lots of 100-pound class fish topped by a nice sample of cows. The bite was never wide open but if you were willing to plunk away at 25- to 40- quality fish a day, the pace was just fine. The trips have been grueling with day bites transitioning into night bites and anglers grabbing a nap at any opportunity. The nocturnal jig bites have put the best quality fish on the deck. The Independence launched the summer schedule with an 8-day and began with stellar coastal yellowtail fishing.

AA finds quality

The American Angler has been the model of consistency on the bluefin grounds. A steady cocktail of 1.5-day to 3-day trips has put the boat on the fish throughout the spring. This week, the boat found some better quality fish. Capt. Brian Kiyohara sent this report after a run in with the bigs, “We landed 25 fish today, 22 were over 100-pounds and two fish went 207 each, both caught by a guy named Justin. Right now is a very good opportunity for a fish of a lifetime. It’s up to you to bring appropriate gear to make it a reality. 80- to 100-pound test is a must.”

The next trip Capt. Ray Lopez was at the helm and there was no fall off, “We have 24 fish from 50 to 215-pounds.”

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The next trip, “We landed 45 fish. 12 of the fish were over 100 pounds topped by a 215 pound cow.”

Intrepid 3-day

The Intrepid was on a 3-day trip targeting local bluefin. Bill Cavanaugh was at the wheel and sent this report, “This will be our final fishing day of a 3-day trip on the Intrepid. We get in tomorrow morning. We’ve had pretty solid fishing for bluefin tuna this trip. We definitely had some little windows of opportunity, most of the fish is good quality. We’re up to 54 bluefin now for the trip, we’re currently drifting with two hooked right now. There have been little signs of the hundred pounders this afternoon.”

INTREPID CATCH on a night bite. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING

The report continued, “We wrapped up a stop where we hooked 11 fish and landed every single one of them, and all but nine were over a hundred pounds. I think the biggest one was about 120 pounds. We’ve had a very successful trip so far with a lot of good quality fish. Most of our fish are over 100 pounds and the rest come in around 40 to 60 pounds. Our biggest fish of the trip so far is 185. Our weather is beautiful and we are coming up on twilight soon and plan on fishing through the night. Hoping to get some shots in the dark on these hundred pound fish. Having a good trip, everyone on board is stoked.”

Supreme catch

The Polaris Supreme was om the bluefin grounds with Captain Aliyar Nabi at the helm. The young skipper called in this report to Seaforth Sportfishing in Mission Bay. “We returned early this morning from a 3-day trip. We had a nice score on big bluefin tuna. We ended up with 85 blueftin tuna. We had 45 fish in the 100- to 200- pound range. The remaining fish were all 40- to 90- pounds. It was a great trip.”

RP chills

The Royal Polaris was back out on a short bluefin trip. The boat sent this report after the day time bite We picked away at some bluefin tuna today. For our daytime bite we ended up with 18 bluefin up to 140 pounds. So we are hoping for a good evening bite. Weather is a bit cold, not cool, but cold. Most of the crew has on two hoodies and slickered down. It’s like fishing albacore in the ’90s. But you have to pace yourself during the day, so you can be ready for the evening bite. Not much more to report, just picking away at some quality bluefin tuna.”

A BIGGIE ON THE RP. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL POLARIS SPORTFISHING

Indy 8-day

The Independence launched the summer schedule with an 8-day trip. Skippered by Capt. Matt Kaullen, it is the trip is the first to the lower zone in weeks. The coastal yellowtail fishing has been good and the boat began the trip on the yellowtail grounds, “The group got off to a good start down here yellowtail’n. There are some really beautiful trophy fish to be had. We spent the day dropping the yo-yo jig on them and it seemed to work best. We had a few fish on the fly-line sardine as well as the dropper loop. After making a tank of mackerel last night we are ready for round two. The weather is getting nicer by the hour and all is well aboard the Independence. “

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